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HomeFactsCan A Person Recover From Dementia

Can A Person Recover From Dementia

Medications To Help Symptoms Of Anxiety In Dementia

The Disabilities Trust BMIPB-II webinar recording held on 18 November 2020

Anxiety, panic attacks and unreasonable fearfulness can be distressing for a person with dementia, their family and carers. Mild symptoms are often helped by reassurance, adjustments to the environment or an improved daily routine.More severe anxiety can be caused by underlying depression and so antidepressant medication can help. Other options are antipsychotic or specific anti-anxiety medications, but these can have unwanted side effects and are usually not recommended for anxiety in dementia.

How Can You Cope With Being The Caretaker Of Someone With Dementia

It is important for someone who is the primary caregiver of a patient with dementia to have a strong network of support. This is needed both to aid in caring for the patient and to give the caregiver some intermittent relief. In the early stages, many caregivers function more as a helper or guide, providing reminders for different tasks. Later in the disease, caregivers may have to supply basic care to the patient, including assistance with bathing, dressing, and going to the bathroom.

Obtaining power of attorney status for financial and medical matters and determining when a patient is no longer able to perform certain activities, such as driving, are difficult but necessary actions. Local Alzheimer’s Association chapters are often helpful in completing these tasks. Enlisting the help of a patient’s physician or mandating an on-the-road driving assessment can place the responsibility of determining when a patient is no longer safe to drive on someone other than a caregiver or family member, as driving is often an action that many patients attempt to perform far past the time when it is safe to continue. There are many sources of assistance for caregivers of patients with dementia:

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver CenterAlzheimer’s Association

What Is Oxygen Deprivation

Oxygen deprivation, otherwise known as hypoxia, can occur throughout the entire body or exclusively in one section of the body. A complete deprivation of oxygen in the bloodstream is known as anoxia. Cerebral hypoxia, induced through other forms of hypoxia, can cause brain damage, including brain cell death and other forms of mental deterioration.

Studies have shown that abnormally low oxygen levels in the brain have a clear association with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Current research has not been able to prove the exact mechanisms behind the correlation, but the reduced blood supply does tend to increase the protein beta-amyloid. Buildup of beta-amyloid in the brain is one of the most characteristic symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

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How Do You Stop Dementia From Progressing

Lifestyle Changes that Prevent or Slow the Progression of Alzheimers & Other Dementias

  • Healthy Diet. There is a clear, proven connection between eating a heart-healthy diet and having a strong brain.
  • Physical Exercise.
  • Socialize.
  • How can I help manage or reduce the symptoms of dementia?

    And often there are things you can do to help manage or reduce these symptoms. Visit the Dementia Support Australia website or call them on 1800 699 799 to get help coping with behaviour change. As you look after a person living with dementia, their care needs can change. You may notice changes in their:

    Loss Of The Hope Of Reconciliation

    Can A Person Recover From Dementia

    Another special aspect of Alzheimer’s grief and ambiguous loss comes from the loss of the hope of reconciliation with the patient. Sadly, the disease can progress quite significantly before the angry spouse or child realizes that the opportunity for reconciliation, for “tying up loose ends” or for communicating those long-felt-but-hidden thoughts and feelings has been lost forever: the person with Alzheimer’s can no longer remember, reason, reflect, apologize, or forgive. Sometimes, a family member may not even know consciously that they held such a hope that one day issues between them and the person with dementia would be resolved or at least admitted until the moment they realize the opportunity is lost to the disease. Again, this is ambiguous and difficult to name, discuss, or resolve one’s self and is difficult for others to understand as well.

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    Getting Help Early Will Make A Difference

    The earlier help is found, the better the family and person with the condition will be able to manage and cope. It is important to:

    • plan ahead while the person can still legally sign documents, get enduring powers of attorney to manage financial affairs, medical decisions and guardianship
    • get information find out about dementia and what lies ahead, so that you will be informed and have more sense of control
    • seek support many people find it helpful to talk through what a diagnosis of dementia means and how they can make adjustments
    • organise practical help organise help in the home, respite care, day trips and stays at day centres, which can all make a positive difference.

    How Do People Die From Dementia

    With symptoms of dementia varying from person to person, many wonder, What do dementia patients die of?

    While every case is different, there is some agreement on what usually causes death in Alzheimers patients and those with dementia. The following are some common challenges and complications of dementia that can play a part in someone dying with dementia.

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    What Are The Risk Factors For Dementia

    The risk factors for developing dementia include age and family history. Age and a family history of dementia are non-modifiable risk factors. Abnormal genes which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease have been identified, but are only rarely involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes increase the risks of developing either Alzheimer’s disease or multi-infarct dementia. Some medications can lead to memory problems which look like dementia.

    Who Is The Drug For And What Are The Benefits

    Stroke Rehabilitation Therapy

    The NICE guidance recommends use of Memantine for people with severe Alzheimers disease, and for those with moderate Alzheimers who may suffer significant side effects from cholinesterase inhibitor drugs.

    For those in the middle and later stages of the disease it can slow down the progression of symptoms such as disorientation, as well as difficulties with daily activities .

    There is some evidence that memantine may also help with symptoms such as aggression and delusion.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Oxygen Deprivation

    The brain needs a certain amount of oxygen every minute. If oxygen levels in the blood are not enough, the body may increase blood flow to compensate.

    If this is still not enough, the brain will begin to be negatively affected. Immediate signs of poor oxygen circulation to the brain may include:

    • Difficulty with complex tasks

    What Is The Treatment For Dementia

    Treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia are limited. While there are medications available to try to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the effect of these medications is limited. Physical exercise has been shown to be of some benefit in helping to maintain cognition. Staying engaged and participating in social events may also be of some help. To date, no treatment which can reverse the process of Alzheimer’s disease has been identified.

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    Vascular Dementia Prognosis And Life Expectancy

    Now that you have a better idea of what a vascular dementia diagnosis could look like, I am sure you are wondering, what is vascular dementia life expectancy? It is hard to accept, but there is no cure right now for vascular dementia. Treatment can slow the progression of symptoms, but the damage done to the brain cant be reversed.

    Life expectancy with vascular dementia can be hard to talk about, but the truth is that it does appear to shorten life. The most common cause of death is usually complications of dementia linked to cardiovascular disease. It is also important to know that life expectancy for someone with vascular dementia can be cut even shorter if the person has another stroke or heart attack in addition to the brain damage.

    We cant say for certain what stroke dementia life expectancy is because the symptoms vary from person-to-person, and as you can tell from the stages outlined above, the outcome can depend on how far the disease is in each sufferer. If there are other health conditions, it could have a significant impact on life expectancy. Age also plays a large role in each case. Depending on the stage of dementia, both medications and lifestyle adjustments can be applied to help prevent the disease from worsening.

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    • 95 99
    • 100 -106

    If you are concerned about end-stage vascular life expectancy, you should discuss it with a qualified healthcare professional.

    Risk Factors For Oxygen Deprivation

    Can You Recover From Dementia?

    Cerebral hypoxia has a variety of potential causesâanything that interferes with the body’s ability to process and distribute oxygen could lead to deprivation in the brain. This could include:

    • Severe asthma attacks
    • Chronic work in a nitrogen-rich environment
    • Extremely high altitude without a pressurization mechanism
    • Choking or strangulation
    • Chronic smoke inhalation
    • Crushing of the trachea

    Any situation in which you are unable to breathe normally can lead to cerebral hypoxia and eventual brain damage, which in turn can increase your risk for developing a form of dementia.

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    The Dangers Of Hip Fractures In Dementia

    Hip fractures are unfortunately common in older adults, and dementia increases this risk. Osteoporosis often develops as people age and so bones are less likely to remain intact in a fall. Falls are the cause of 95% of hip fractures, and 75% of those hip fractures occur in women.

    Alma And Silvias Story

    Alma had been forgetful for years, but even after her family knew that Alzheimers disease was the cause of her forgetfulness, they never talked about what the future would bring. As time passed and the disease eroded Almas memory and ability to think and speak, she became less and less able to share her concerns and wishes with those close to her.

    This made it hard for her daughter Silvia to know what Alma needed or wanted. When the doctors asked about feeding tubes or antibiotics to treat pneumonia, Silvia didnt know how to best reflect her mothers wishes. Her decisions had to be based on what she knew about her moms values, rather than on what Alma actually said she wanted.

    Quality of life is an important issue when making healthcare decisions for people with dementia. For example, medicines are available that may delay or keep symptoms from becoming worse for a little while. Medicines also may help control some behavioral symptoms in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimers disease.

    However, some caregivers might not want drugs prescribed for people in the later stages of Alzheimers. They may believe that the persons quality of life is already so poor that the medicine is unlikely to make a difference. If the drug has serious side effects, they may be even more likely to decide against it.

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    How Can A Stroke Cause Dementia

    To understand how a stroke can cause dementia, lets look at the connection between the brain, the arteries, and a stroke.

    A stroke occurs when the supply of blood in the brain becomes disrupted by either a clogged or burst artery. When brain cells do not receive enough blood, they are deprived of oxygen and other essential nutrients, which can lead to brain damage. For this reason, a stroke requires swift medical attention to restore normal blood flow in the brain and save the persons life.

    The health of your arteries has a direct impact on your risk of stroke. When blood can flow freely through clear arteries, the risk of stroke is low. The risk of stroke increases when arteries become narrowed or damaged from conditions like atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

    But how can a stroke cause dementia? When a stroke causes damage to the brain, it can cause a variety of secondary effects including vascular dementia.

    Vascular dementia occurs when the brain does not receive enough blood and thus causes damage to cognitive functions such as memory and problem-solving.

    Living With Vascular Dementia

    The Great Big Quiz-Family Night

    Vascular dementia is a progressive disease that has no cure, but the rate at which the disease progresses can vary. Some people with vascular dementia may eventually need a high level of care due to the loss of mental and physical abilities. Family members may be able to care for a person with vascular dementia early on. But if the disease progresses, the person may need more specialized care.

    Respite programs, adult daycare programs, and other resources can help the caregiver get some time away from the demands of caring for a loved one with vascular dementia.

    Long-term care facilities that specialize in the care of people with dementias, Alzheimer’s, and other related conditions are often available if a person affected by vascular dementia can no longer be cared for at home. Your healthcare provider can recommend caregiver resources.

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    What Medications Are Available To Treat Dementia

    Drugs approved for the most common form of dementia, Alzheimers disease, are discussed below. These drugs are also used to treat people with some of the other forms of dementia.

    • cholinesterase inhibitors
    • NMDA receptor antagonist memantine

    These two classes of drugs affect different chemical processes in the brain. Both classes have been shown to provide some benefit in improving or stabilizing memory function in some patients. Although none of these drugs appear to stop the progression of the underlying disease, they may slow it down.

    If other medical conditions are causing dementia or co-exist with dementia, the appropriate drugs used to treat those specific conditions are prescribed.

    Sleep Apnea And Related Deficits

    Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleep apnea, are common as people age and may lead to reduced cognitive performance, mimicking signs of dementia. Lack of restful sleep can increase the risk of sleep-disordered breathing, decrease total sleep duration, and impair circadian cycles. A study by Hung and colleagues indicates that primary insomnia is associated with a two- to three-fold increased risk for developing dementia.

    Sleep apnea is known to cause neuron hypoxia and increase the risk of vascular conditions, such as vascular dementia and stroke, which can increase the risk for dementia. Poor sleep quality and quantity can affect neuron health by interfering with the brains natural processes for clearing toxins, which can increase glial cell inflammation and oxidative neurotoxin accumulation. The result can be neuron damage, dementia pathology in the brain, and subsequent dementia-like symptoms.

    Diagnostic testing

    To determine whether a patient with a sleep disturbance has dementia or depression, their sleep patterns should be assessed with a sleep study. The study will help determine if the patient has obstructive sleep apnea, but it wont be able to differentiate a sleep disturbance resulting from dementia or depression. These will require complex testing and may still be inconclusive.


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    Some Health Problems May Mimic Alzheimers Symptoms

    If you, or a family member, are exhibiting memory problems the first step is to talk to a doctor.

    Not all memory loss is related to Alzheimers or dementia. There are other reasons you might experience memory problems including thyroid issues, stress, vitamin deficiencies or certain medications. In these instances, once the cause is identified, your doctor can provide a course of treatment to manage, or even reverse, the symptoms.

    How Can Healthcare Professionals Help At This Stage

    Nursing Dementia  Longmead Court Nursing Home

    Healthcare professionals can explain these changes so you understand what is happening.

    Healthcare professionals can also take steps to reduce the persons pain or distress, often using medication.

    If the person cant swallow, then medication can be provided through patches on the skin, small injections or syringe pumps that provide a steady flow of medication through a small needle under the persons skin. Speak to a GP or another health professional about this.

    Talking Point

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    Lifestyle Changes To Improve Vascular Dementia Symptoms

    A diagnosis of dementia is scary. But its important to remember that many people with dementia can lead healthy, fulfilling lives for years after the diagnosis. Dont give up on life! As much as possible, continue to look after your physical and emotional health, do the things you love to do, and spend time with family and friends.

    The same strategies used to keep your brain healthy as you age and prevent the onset of dementia can also be used to improve symptoms.

    Find new ways to get moving. Research suggests that even a leisurely 30-minute walk every day may reduce the risk of vascular dementia and help slow its progression. Regular exercise can also help control your weight, relieve stress, and boost your overall health and happiness.

    Create a network of support. Seeking help and encouragement from friends, family, health care experts, and support groups can improve your outlook and your health. And its never to late to make new friends and expand your network.

    Eat for heart health. Heart disease and stroke share many of the same risk factors, such as high LDL cholesterol , low HDL cholesterol , and high blood pressure. Adopting a heart-healthy diet may help to improve or slow down your dementia symptoms.

    Make it a point to have more fun.Laughing, playing, and enjoying yourself are great ways to reduce stress and worry. Joy can energize you and inspire lifestyle changes that may prevent further strokes and compensate for memory and cognitive losses.

    Signs Of The Dying Process

    As someones condition gets worse and they are within a few days or hours of dying, further changes are common. The person may:

    • deteriorate more quickly than before
    • lose consciousness
    • develop an irregular breathing pattern
    • have a chesty or rattly sound to their breathing
    • have cold hands and feet.

    These changes are part of the dying process when the person is often unaware of what is happening.

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